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Nicolas Groffman, Partner, Head of International Team

International

Direct Dial: 03301 075 803
Mobile: +44 7816 592 934

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A bit about me

If you’re doing business with anyone outside the UK, I’m the person to speak with to make it happen easily and reduce the risk for your business. I’m passionate about helping people from different cultures work together to achieve something greater than would have been possible by themselves.

I work to provide political and commercial solutions as well as legal ones, and assist my clients in real time – no matter what time zone they’re in. In particular, I specialise in helping companies that want to work with businesses in China, getting deals done while spotting any potential dangers. I work with a vast range of businesses across the globe and if you’re looking to take the leap to work internationally, I can provide strategic, cost-effective advice.

If the risk can’t be sufficiently minimised when working with an international business, I’ll be open with you and I’ll tell you what is best for your business, no matter what stage the deal is at.

Want to know more?

Don’t miss a good opportunity due to lack of trust – caution is an important instinct, but excessive caution is detrimental if unjustified.

Be bold enough to work internationally, but don’t be naive – slow down and do your due diligence properly.

Communication is the key to a successful cross-border business deal. If you’re not getting your message across, find someone who can.

How much will you charge me?

It depends on the nature of your enquiry, but we are the most cost-effective firm for overseas work and we make it clear how much our expertise will cost from the outset.

We’re happy with the counter party we’re working with – can you just run a quick check to confirm they’re OK so we can tick the box for compliance purposes?

If you haven’t done these checks before you engaged them, then the chances are they are not OK. At this point, we’ll need to do some risk management work to make sure everything is above board.

How can I save tax on our group structure when I do business in China?

Tax avoidance shouldn’t be the primary concern at the outset. Focus on getting everything else right first – having a workable, secure commercial structure is very difficult if you have prioritised tax advice first.

Where I work

Hear what our clients say about our Nicolas Groffman

Tremendous support for an Independent School

The relationship with us goes back a long way, and the service HCR provides in the more ‘t...

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latest articles

Expansion in HCR’s international team to meet client demand

Partner Ajit Mishra, whose experience and expertise in the UK-India business corridor is extensive, has…

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Freeports: good for British business?

Freeports, the new UK jargon word for free trade zones or foreign trade zones (FTZs),…

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Should we stop trading with China?

Britain has seen a huge shift in attitudes to China over the last five years.…

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UK’s free trade agreement with Japan will benefit Thames Valley

The UK’s first major post-Brexit trade deal, a free trade agreement with Japan, was achieved…

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Webinar: We need to talk about Brexit

Yes, we’re afraid we do need to talk about Brexit. Irrespective of the political landscape…

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UK announces a new free trade agreement with Japan

The UK’s first major post-Brexit trade deal, a free trade agreement with Japan, has been…

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How can we get new technology out of China?

Recent changes to China’s export controls will affect both those trying to buy newly ‘restricted’…

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Brexit is behind us, but the real exit approaches. What should businesses do now?

Boris Johnson declared Brexit was “done” on January 31st 2019 when Britain formally left the…

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英国法律关于“刺破公司面纱”的规定 --- 做公司股东也有法律风险

作者:Nicolas Groffman, Connie Lu 联系方式:+44 7816 592 934  ngroffman@hcrlaw.com 根据英国法律,有限责任公司有二个基本原则,分别是(1)自成立就被赋予独立的法律人格;(2)股东仅对公司承担以其投资额度为限的有限责任。第二个原则是对公司股东的重要保护,正是基于这个股东仅承担有限责任的保护,有限公司目前是应用最为广泛的一种公司形式。英国现有超过四百万的有限责任公司在册,并以每年注册五十万个新公司的速度持续增长(2020年8月17日查询结果)。但其实做公司股东也会有法律风险。 刺破公司面纱是有限责任公司独立法律人格的例外情形,它否认了公司股东仅承担有限责任这个原则。一旦决定刺破公司面纱,股东将有可能承担超出其投资额度的公司责任。 有限责任公司独立法律人格的两个基本原则是由英国最高法院于一百多年前在Salomon v Salomon &…

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Webinar: Tracking strategy and investment in the UK-India corridor

Building a culture of perseverance and innovation so that, with limited resources, companies can develop…

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将中国品牌打入英国市场 ----英国法律关于特许连锁经营的相关规定

作者:Nicolas Groffman, Connie Lu 联系方式: ngroffman@hcrlaw.com, clu@hcrlaw.com 通过许可英国当地企业使用自已的品牌,是将中国成熟品牌快速打入英国市场的一种有效方法。其特点是前期投资小、所需运营周期短、可以借助本地企业已有的市场积累,非常适合以前从未走出国门、或者海外经验不多的品牌。前期的许可经营业务也可市场探点结束后转为企业直接经营,模式灵活。本文借助分析三个相关案例,与大家讨论英国法律环境下与特许连锁经营相关的法律规定。如果您希望借此商业模式扩大品牌经营,那么这篇文件会对您有一定帮助。 特许连锁经营的定义 特许连锁经营指由许可方许可被许可方使用其品牌并按许可的模式经营业务,许可方在日常经营管理方面享有对被许可方的充分监督管理权,许可方同时也需要向被许可方提供全面帮助,包括培训、市场宣传等。被许可方则向许可方支付品牌使用费和收入提成作为回报。 英国法律并未设专门的部门法来规范特许连锁经营,对外国品牌通过特许连锁经营进入英国市场的没有额外要求或特殊规定,也不要求从事特许连锁经营的进行登记。这点与美国法律非常不一样,后者要求从事特许连锁经营的企业做特定披露。但英国有行业自律协会,该协会对自己的会员提出了自律要求,包括在正式特许连锁经营之前需先进行试点特许连锁、持续向被许可方提供培训以使后者能够按照许可方的商业模式运营管理自己的业务,并能向客户提供达到同样水平的产品或服务,等等。 在许可方与被许可方之间,许可方由于充分了解业务、品牌、专门技术等,一般在谈判中具有天然 信息优势。为了平衡这种信息不对等的现象,许多潜在被许可方会对许可方做背景调查,以尽量了解许可方。因此我们建议许可方要对这一点做到心中有数,知晓坐在谈判桌另一边的人对你公司的了解可能比你以为的要多。此外我们也建议许可方对潜在的被许可方进行背景调查,通过了解对方的商业信誉、过往经营历史、在当地的市场地位、财务状况等等,以判断对方是否是合适的被许可方,是否具备相应的经验和匹配的市场能力,是否可以帮助许可方实现拓展当地市场的商业目标。 特许经营与虚假陈述 特许连锁经营商业模式下常出现关于虚假陈述的法律纠纷。最常见现象是被许可方认为合同签署之前听信了许可方做出的不实承诺并因此签署了特许连锁经营合同。但之后发现对方不兑现之前说过的话,并给自己造成经济损失,属于诱骗自己签合同,并将对方告上法庭。…

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浅谈英国法律下的代理、特许连锁和分销

作者:Nicolas Groffman, Connie Lu 联系方式:+44 7816 592 934  ngroffman@hcrlaw.com 国内企业寻求拓展海外市场时,许多人都会考虑使用代理或经销商。相比在海外设立实体店将产生的巨大运营成本和相应的市场风险,与代理商或经销商合作或授权他人进行连锁经营则因经营模式灵活并且成本低廉而颇受企业青睐。采用不同的业务模式会给企业带来不同的责任和义务。本文通过比较英国法律下的代理、特许连锁以及分销,为计划通过连锁或品牌授权打入英国市场的企业提供帮助。 代理对应英语中的agent,特许连锁对应英语中的Franchising,而分销则对应Distribution。三者都是通过别人将自己的产品售卖到英国市场,但这三种经营模式下合作双方各自承担的义务以及双方之间的商业关系有许多不同之处,一旦混淆概念或产生误解则难免会给企业带来麻烦。本文目的就是希望能够解释这三者之间的差别。 代理的概念相对清楚,其基本模式就是代理将潜在客户介绍给企业,有的代理还会代表企业与客户签合同,但代理本身并不从事业务经营,这一点与特许连锁经营以及分销最主要的不同。特许连锁和分销这两个概念相对比较容易混淆,都是一方销售另一方的产品,差异主要体现在双方合作的紧密程度上。 在特许连锁模式下,品牌所有人与被许可方的关系非常紧密,许可方通过授权被许可方使用己方的商标,对被许可方的店铺选址和布置、运营模式等方面都有发言权,同时对被许可方提供全面支持,包括提供培训使其能够提供符合要求的服务。许可方对被许可方的产品销售价格有决定权,向最终客户承担损失(如果有)。相应的,被许可方将听从许可方的销售安排并向许可方支付许可费和销售提成。许可方可随时终止合作,但需对被许可方做出赔偿。 双方在分销模式下的关系比较简单,即分销商向品牌所有方采购产品并再次出售。品牌所有方无需向分销商提供更多的支持,但也不在店铺布置或者销售价格方面对分销商进行干预或限制,如果客户从分销商处购得产品后因发生损失从而提出索赔的,该责任由分销商承担。如果终止合作,品牌所有方无需向分销商进行赔偿。 虽然人们常常这二种模式最本质的区别在于分销商会向品牌所有方采购产品,而特许连锁方则无需购买。但这也并非绝对,如果双方商定,特许连锁经营模式下的被许可方也会从许可方购买产品,比如快餐业的消耗食材。有时也可以看到许可方会要求被许可方向他们采购店铺装饰用材料以保持形象的完全一致。所以这条原则如果总结为“分销商一定会从品牌许可方购买产品,而被许可方一般无需购买”可能更为清楚。…

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What can China do for you?

Why you should consider trading with China now With a deadly virus roaming the globe…

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Should you source ventilators and protective gear from China?

Personal protective equipment The demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) is pressing, so it may…

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London conference showcases R&I expertise

An audience of more than 130 heard restructuring and insolvency experts discussing recent cases, debating…

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Covid-19: How to protect your business

General overview The health effects of COVID-19 are well-documented – in this article we review…

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China’s Coronavirus - How it affects your business

I lived through SARS in Beijing in 2003 and was, perhaps foolishly, never worried about…

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How do you succeed in international trade?

Key aspects of international trade Success in international trade is a broad subject and use…

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HCR welcomes Indian partners

From a trip in a Morgan to lunch on The Promenade in Cheltenham, a warm…

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Mainland and HK arbitral arrangement

China dispute resolution: New ways of seizing assets From now on, anyone who has chosen…

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New international link for HCR with India law firm

Top 100 UK legal firm Harrison Clark Rickerbys (HCR) and Indian law firm, India Law…

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Cybersecurity for companies with dealings outside the UK

There are now more operational devices in the world than people, and each device is…

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Change without confrontation in China – reciprocal judgements enforcement

The vexed question of extradition, and China’s desire to push through an arrangement on the…

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Thinking global - international lawyer on the airwaves down under

Analysis of China’s approach to the Arctic and its interest in the region, whether environmental…

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Unwarranted pessimism as growth continues, advanced manufacturing seminar told

It’s not all about Brexit and the economy has continued to grow since the referendum,…

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Brexit from both sides of the Channel

When it comes to Brexit, what UK companies say and what they do may be…

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Brexit is making it harder to deal with the UK

Many Dutch firms are concerned about how Brexit will continue to affect them, and some are…

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关于中国单性别学校的一些想法

单性别学校在中国并不多见,供方市场存在缺口。目前我们仅在中国发现九所单性别学校(中学,不包括未登记的学校),这对于一个有2.4亿适龄学生的国家来讲,从数量上看是非常非常少的。 本文旨在观察中国适龄学生的家长对于单性别学校的态度。他们的态度与欧洲家长们的态度非常不一样。许多中国家长对于单性别学校的优点很好奇,这一点从他们非常乐于把孩子们送入仍然存在于英国的单性别学校可见一斑,中国学生在该类学校学生总数中的比例非常大,仅次于来自于穆斯林国家的学生。 教育学家和社会学家普遍认为,单性别学校能帮助女性“在这个对她们并不十分友好的世界上占据一席之地,至少在一定程度上会有所帮助”(英国2017年学校总督察的观点)。在英国,就读于单性别学校的女生在某些可测量结果上似乎优于别的孩子,但该结论并不适用于男学生。Tudor Hall校长Wendy Griffiths认为,“一个好的女子学校可以帮助一个女孩‘找到她的声音’”。这点非常重要,虽然这种帮助是如何实现的并不易凭经验来衡量,但其效果得到了学生父母和学校老师的认可。” 在英国,单性教育的没落是由男校开始并推动的,这些男校发现女生的平均考试成绩更好,所以开始招收女生。这反过来迫使女校效仿,因为开始招募女生的男校抢夺了她们的市场。然而,单性别学校的颓势很可能会在中国得以扭转甚至提振。 我们听取了很多中国家长的意见,并就这个问题分析了网上的许多相关评论。我们的研究是基于事实进行而非对科学原理进行分析,但很明显,许多中国父母认为单性别学校比混合学校更可取,他们了解并采纳了与英美两国教育社会学家的研究结果相似的看法。当然也有因缺乏了解而持不同意见的声音,但中国父母普遍比英国学生的家长更熟谙教育理论。倾向于男女混校的中国家长和那些赞成非单一性别学校的英国父母观点一致,双方都认为学校应该呈现一个由两性共同组成的“真实的世界”,从这种环境中走出的学生在面对真实社会时才不会手足无措。 对单性别学校感兴趣的中国父母倾向于关注美英学校,而对中国的单性别学校几乎没有讨论。我们认为这并非因为他们不感兴趣,而是因为单性别学校在中国不是主流,中国父母几乎别无选择而只能进行海外择校。 正如中国父母尽可能地送子女进入双语学校学习而不是将他们直接送出国外一样,男女混合教育也是如此 — 如果在中国有好的单性别学校,也会成为中国父母的选择。这是英国单性别学校与中国学校合作在中国设立单性别学校,并向这些合作学校提供专业知识的机会。 中国现有的女子学校自有其特色。她们一般不收12岁以下的学生,相比之下,许多的英国女子学校最小的学生是五岁。上海市第三女子中学是中国的一所女子学校,其前身是圣玛丽女子学校,由美国基督教会于1881年创立;上海中西女子学校于1892年由基督教南方监督协会成立。这两所学校在1952时被上海市人民政府接管并重新命名为“上海市第三女子中学”。然而此类例子少而又少,其模式不具有代表性。 寻找志在弥补该市场空白的中国商业伙伴或学校则是另外一个问题。很多此类在海外寻找合作伙伴的资金并不是由教育专家经营,而是由在非教育领域富有经验的企业家或商界人士经营管理。 投资机构对此类项目的忽视程度也令人吃惊。这种机构多由男性主导,他们在基金管理、金融及其他领域有着丰富的经验,但他们在教育理论方面则更像“酒吧里的那个家伙”—其富有感染力的发言并不以研究为基础。本文作者曾在正式会议上听到过一个似乎被广为接受的理论,理论的前提是受过高等教育的女生不容易嫁出去。这就造成了一个很古怪的现象,即消费者(中产阶级父母)对于产品的某些方面比投资者有更深了解。 然而有迹象表明这种情况正在发生变化。虽然我们认为中国留学生在进行海外择校时并不以进入单性别学校为目标,但进入英国单性别学校学习的中国学生人数很多,这是因为在英国学习的中国学生人数很多。…

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Brexit – the view from across the Channel

We are obsessed with Brexit in the UK, with news channels full of nothing else,…

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What does China’s new draft China Foreign Investment Law mean for British and US business?

China published a draft Foreign Investment Law in December 2018 – it is not the…

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Ready for a global future?

British business is responding to Brexit, even before it happens – our exports of goods…

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Be Brexit-ready with our top tips

Nicolas Groffman, partner and head of the international team at HCR shares his top tips…

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Taking the region’s Brexit temperature

In what is potentially the most uncertain time for UK businesses in decades, it’s difficult…

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Food at the heart of Brexit for agriculture

Food production and food security were at the heart of Brexit for the agricultural businesses…

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Business leaders’ Brexit predictions

As Theresa May shuttles back and forth to Brussels, business people from across the region…

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Taking regional businesses’ Brexit temperature

Top business and legal advice for companies trying to plan ahead past Brexit will be…

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Leading legal advisors to education institutions

Being recognised by the judges as leading legal advisors to education institutions, especially against strong…

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公司秘书服务

公司秘书服务旨在协助客户对公司进行有效管理,避免公司在运作过程中出现违规的现象,特别是在公司起步阶段,可以避免由于操作人员缺乏经验、不了解英国当地法律要求、语言障碍以及远程操作的不便等等而造成的公司不能及时更新登记信息,进而避免受到不必要的损失。 Harrison Clark Rickerbys有专业的队伍为您提供公司秘书服务,解除您的后顾之忧,为您在创业路上助一臂之力。 我们提供的公司秘书服务包括以下内容: 提供已注册的办公设施,包括根据客户指示检查、入档以及转寄法定邮件 建立、更新和维护法定要求的注册信息,包括“有重大控制力的人员的信息” 通过给客户发送电子邮件来提醒客户及时上报年报信息等 如客户要求,委任Harrison Clark (Secretarial) Limited为客户的秘书公司。尽管非上市公司并不一定要有秘书公司,但我们仍建议客户这么做,以便有专人负责与英国公司登记局的联络,并且遵守所有的信息存档要求 审阅公司的章程,根据客户的存档历史提供各类必要的文件和待办事项清单,确保客户按法律要求及时更新所有的公司登记信息 通过我们的内部软件系统建立、更新、和维护法定要求的登记信息。并以打印件的形式保存该登记信息,以备审计或其他获授权的单位查询。此外我们还代表客户与会计师或审计师就需要提供的各类信息进行联系 建立和维护有重大控制力的人的登记信息…

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New Chinese education law and its potential effect on UK schools

The revised draft of Non-State Education Promotion Law of PRC was issued on 10th August 2018. It has…

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How are firms preparing for a shortage of EU workers post-Brexit?

Firms cannot prepare adequately for a shortage of EU workers because we still do not…

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Passporting – Key issues for the UK’s financial sector

One of the key issues for the UK’s strong financial sector concerned about Brexit is…

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Is life in the UK more uncertain now Brexit is a reality?

‘Uncertainty’ is a word frequently used to describe the consequences of the Brexit vote, as…

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Opinion Piece - Theresa May, Brexit, and China – navigating choppy waters to new horizons

Theresa May has large, tired eyes, is covered in TV make-up, and is dressed in…

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HCR enables UK expansion for Chinese recruitment experts

Harrison Clark Rickerbys (HCR) advised Beijing Career International, a recruitment solutions provider in China, on its…

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Top tips for exporting to new markets

The US, as one of the world’s largest economies, is a key potential market for…

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上市公司海外并购 : 如何满足127号文的尽调要求?

随着中国经济发展迅猛,我们见到越来越多的中国企业,包括上市企业,频频来欧洲收购优质资产,英国是他们的主要战场之一。在此类海外收购中,人们开始关注如何做好关于收购目标企业的尽职调查问题。这不仅是因为两国法律制度有巨大差异,也是因为国内对进行海外收购的监管要求越来越高,特别是中国证监会和交易所在信息披露等方面的严格要求。比如证监会在2016年重新修订了《上市公司重大资产重组管理办法》(也称证监会令第127号),若企业收购满足“重大资产重组”的定义,则该企业必须满足特殊的信息披露要求。 经过几年的发展,英国合瑞律师事务所 (Harrison Clark Rickerbys) 在以收购为目的的企业尽职调查上面积累了丰富的实战经验。我们擅长与国内律所合作,我们的尽调报告不仅包括传统尽调内容,如目标企业的产权结构、纳税情况、有无重大违规或被起诉、有无知识产权侵权及受保护情况、合同是否受控制权变更的影响等,还包括满足证监会特别要求的收购企业披露信息,包括收购目标资产权属清晰、符合国家产业政策、满足上市公司收购后主要资产形势的要求、以及上市公司可以在业务、资产、财务、人员、机构等方面保持独立性,等等。 上市企业在海外收购中满足各监管机构的要求,不仅是收购得以顺利进行的前提条件,也是确保相关责任人遵守诚实守信、勤勉尽责的义务,从而使得公司资产安全和股东权益都得到的保护的重要保障措施。

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Brexit - How is it impacting UK businesses?

Immediately after Brexit, the pound fell because of lack of investor confidence in our currency.…

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China allows foreign investors to own majority stakes in Securities Companies

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) issued the Measures for the Administration of Foreign-Funded Securities Companies (“MAFFSC”,…

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Your questions about Brexit

A year after the Brexit referendum, we asked South West businesses key questions about its…

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International contracts – Why you are spending your money on the wrong advice

In-house lawyers typically approach cross-border contract review in the following way: review it themselves, then…

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How to secure overseas investment

This article first appeared in the latest edition of the ISBA Bursar’s Review. Economic and…

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The dangers of being a majority shareholder in a UK company

This affects anyone who holds a majority stake in a UK company.  You need to…

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New hire boosts lawyers’ international links

Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ international team has been strengthened by the arrival of legal consultant Connie…

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Do you want to get your business ready for Brexit?

Brexit negotiations continue, with gifts and barbs being exchanged in equal measure, and still it…

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Is the potential loss of passporting rights under Brexit causing banks to flee the UK?

Wells Fargo have recently indicated that they will not wait for the UK to trigger…

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